Ryanair has announced this morning that it will not be observing the PSO licence to run three flights from Dublin to Kerry as of October 31st.
Ryanair has said it is doing so because the Minister for Transpost has "refused" to honour the obligation to contribute towards increased "huge" Govt costs of servicing the route, Ryanair has namely identified the "€4 tourist tax, the 40% rise in DAA airport fees and higher ATC charges" as additional costs that under the PSO the Govt have an obligation to support.
A spokesman for Ryanair has told Politics.ie that the aircraft that is permanently servicing the Dublin to Kerry route based at Kerry airport will be soon taken off the route, and the soon-to-be once-daily service will be serviced from within the general Ryanair fleet. Ryanair has said the decision to run the service on a commercial-only basis will save the taxpayer €2m.
Ryanair, which already pays ‘out of hours costs’ of €76 per passenger to Kerry Airport (for the early morning departure and the late evening arrival) will now operate the Kerry-Dublin route on a commercial basis without any PSO subsidy whatsoever from 31st Oct thereby saving the taxpayer almost €2m annually.
Stephen McNamara, RyanairThe Minister for Transport has refused to honour the PSO contract which requires him to increase payments to reflect the Govt tourist tax and the Govt imposed increase in DAA and ATC charges which have added an extra €19 per passenger on the Kerry-Dublin route. Ryanair will now operate this route on a commercial basis without any PSO subsidy thereby saving the taxpayer almost €2 million p.a. Ryanair again calls for an ending to these PSO subsidies under which tiny passenger numbers receive enormous taxpayer subsidies to fund vastly inflated charges at Irish regional airports.
Ryanair has said it that after Oct 31st, the airline will serve Kerry airport four times a day from Kerry to Dublin, Frankfurt Hahn, London Luton and London Stansted.”
Update @ 15.30 Ryanair's website is still advertising three flights a day after Oct 31st from Dublin to Kerry via the ryanair.com website.
I took a few dates after Oct 31st to see what the schedule was like - Nov 10th (being my birthday lest any of you wish to send gifts) still has three flights advertised for example, despite the announcement this morning.
I've asked Ryanair's PR people why the airline is still selling seats on flights they've claimed this morning to be cancelled but they've not come back to me yet.
Update @ 16.30 After a bit of chasing since just after midday, a spokesman for Ryanair has said the Ryanair website will stop accepting bookings for the three-times daily flights to Kerry after Oct 31st from this evening, but has yet to clarify what the status is of those who have booked flights already (or who will do before the flights are removed from the Ryanair website).